What can cause a travel thrombosis

Long, immobile sitting, such as in aircraft, restricts the flow of blood to the heart, which active muscle movement promotes. This can result in deposits of liquid, mostly in the lower leg. Increased pressure on the tissues causes for its part a reduction of the blood circulation.

In rare cases, involving 'risk' persons, a blood clot can develop on the wall of the vein. This is described as a thrombosis, which impedes the flow of blood much more.

In very rare cases, part of the blood clot can break off and be carried to the lungs by the flow of blood. By blocking a blood vessel this can result in considerable reduction of the heart's pumping performance. This is called an embolism of the lung, which in an extreme situation can lead to sudden heart failure.


Special risk groups

  • People over 60
  • Persons who have already suffered from thrombosis
  • Overweight people
  • Pregnant women
  • People with a malignant ailment
  • Women who take a contraceptive pill and also smoke
  • People who recently had an operation
  • People with a hereditary blood coagulation disorder

What you can do to prevent a thrombosis

By wearing compression stockings (best of all, compression panty hose), you can greatly reduce the liquid deposits in your legs. People in high-risk groups should have compression stockings fitted individually.

Try to get some exercise during your flight, such as taking an active part in the Lufthansa Flyrobic program offered on your video screen on long-haul routes.

Make sure you drink enough on the flight in order to help your body achieve a sensible liquids balance amid the dry air in the cabin.

Cut down on alcohol and don't take sleeping pills or tranquilizers.

We definitely recommend that especially endangered persons should consult their doctor. In some cases, taking a preventive anticoagulant medication can be necessary.

Star Alliance